Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Forecast Boosts Hopes on Health of Economy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

New Forecast Boosts Hopes on Health of Economy

Article excerpt

HOPES that the UK might dodge another recession have been boosted by an influential forecaster's discovery of a positive shift in economic activity at the start of the year.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said its composite leading indicators, a survey designed to anticipate turning points in the economic cycle, had signified stronger, if tentative, signals of improvement.

The Paris-based organisation, which works to improve social and economic wellbeing across the world, said it had seen a positive change in momentum in all major countries with the global position driven by growth in the US and Japan.

The UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the final three months of 2011, but industrial surveys have suggested a slight pick up in activity in January and this OECD survey will add to cautious optimism around the country's growth prospects for 2012.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "The OECD leading indicator had previously declined for 10 successive months, so the improving trend seen at the end of 2011 and start of 2012 boosts hopes that the UK can return to growth in the first quarter and avoid recession. …

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